The Orioles are interested in Justin Duchscherer

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Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles are interested in Justin Duchscherer.

The Yankees have been reported to be interested in him, and as ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported the other day, Duchscherer held private workouts with two other American League clubs last week.  Zrebiec says, however, that the Orioles were not one of them.  He is supposed to have another workout soon, however, and the Orioles will be there.  Unless someone has their wires crossed, that means as many as four teams are at least curious.

And why wouldn’t they be? He’s likely to be relatively inexpensive. But, if he can stay healthy, he’s likely to pitch really, really well. At least if his short, pre-injury stint from last season is any indication.

Zrebiec adds that Duchscherer would like to be somewhere on the east coast so that he could be near his son, who lives in New Jersey.  That doesn’t disqualify the Orioles, but it also keeps the Yankees in play for him even if New York envisions a smaller role for him than would Baltimore.

Sandy Leon homered twice in one inning, including a grand slam

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Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon achieved a rare feat during Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Orioles: he homered twice in one inning. One of those homers happened to be a grand slam.

Leon led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run off of Logan Verrett. Verrett continued to get knocked around, giving up three singles and a walk before being relieved by Brian Moran. Moran gave up a walk to load the bases, then a single to knock in a run and keep the bases loaded. Leon stepped back to the plate and swatted a grand slam to left field, making it an eight-run fifth for the Red Sox. The Sox would tack on one more before the inning was mercifully ended.

How often do players homer twice in one inning during the regular season? Not that often. Since 2010, the feat has been accomplished four times in the American League and twice in the National League. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo was the only one to do it last year.

As for Leon, he’s on track to open the season as the starting catcher in Boston, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported last week.

Phillies release veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday

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The Phillies announced on Monday that the club released veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday. Both were competing for the back-up catcher spot on the team’s 25-man roster. With both out of the picture, that means Andrew Knapp has won that honor.

Knapp, 25, hit a combined .266/.330/.390 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 443 plate appearances last year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He did not have a great spring but has hit well as of late, which likely pushed him ahead of Hanigan and Holaday. Knapp will serve as the understudy to starting catcher Cameron Rupp.